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Yahoo’s Decker to Join Berkshire Board

For chairman Warren Buffett, tapping a prominent Internet executive has been a long time coming.
Stephen TaubMarch 5, 2007

Yahoo’s acting chief financial officer, Susan Decker, will join the board of Berkshire Hathaway at its annual meeting on May 5.

“We are lucky to have her,” proclaimed Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett in his annual letter to investors.

Decker, 44, scores very high on Buffett’s four criteria for board members: that they be owner-oriented, business-savvy, interested, and truly independent. While never slighting those qualities, he added, Berkshire will “seek more young directors in the future.”

Decker is the head of the newly formed Advertiser and Publisher Group at Yahoo. She also serves on the boards of Intel, Costco Wholesale, and The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

For Buffett, tapping a prominent Internet executive has been a long time coming. During the 1990s tech boom, he eschewed investments and other involvement with those high-flying companies despite widespread criticism that he was not evolving with the changing global economy. As it often does, Buffett’s decision to bide his time proved very shrewd.

Observers speculate that Decker may play a role in choosing successors to Buffett and his right-hand man, Charles Munger.